You are entitled to end of service benefits even in this situation
So you've got a promotion or are simply getting transferred to another branch of the same company — you are entitled to receive your end of service benefits in the UAE.
This situation stands true whether you are transferring within the region, such as from UAE to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or any other middle-eastern company, as well as to different markets, be that the UK, US, Europe or others.
While this specificity is not stated as a particular in the UAE labour contract, it is a fully legal entitlement. SME 10X spoke to Rashed Al Nuaimi Advocates and Legal Consultants (RAALC), UAE-based law firm, who work on mainland and free-zone cases, to get clarity on this issue.
They explained that even though this is not stated in these words, end of service benefit is a completely legal entitlement of employees. This is because when transferring abroad, even if it is within the same company in which an individual is working in the UAE, the labour contract in the UAE stands to be terminated when an employee is due to leave the country.
"As long as the employee transfer is permanent and not temporary, and the employee has complied with all clauses of their contract, they are entitled to receive gratuity."Camelia Garcia, Attorney at RAALC
They further explained that even though employees might have an internal contract that holds true in another country, the UAE MOHRE only holds the labour contract as legal. It is under this that an employee is entitled to end of service gratuity. And when the employee is being transferred abroad, they are no longer a working resident in the UAE, thereby the contract gets terminated in order to cancel the visa and Emirates ID.
It is then a default of this mechanism that the employee is legally entitled to the gratuity as his UAE labour contract is ended.
Employees can write-off their end-of-service gratuity, however forcing them to do so or blackmailing them to do so with the promise of an international transfer is illegal. Employees can seek legal support from lawyers or try to amicably resolve the issue via mediation at their relevant labour authority without the need for lawyers being present.
However, Camelia Garcia advises that "even though attorneys are not needed for mediation, they can provide crucial legal advice to help employees negotiate with the other party and claim the right amount of end of services. Moreover, mediation registrars cannot provide a binding judgement, in which case a lawyer can be of crucial help."
Many people aren't aware of this as it is not explicitly mentioned in the UAE Labour Contracts. However, to enable an employee transfer, the company's UAE office will have to cancel their visa, and to do so they have to terminate your UAE labour contract. By respect of this contract termination, the employee is entitled to their end of service gratuity.